Round 12 Match Report

The Box Hill Hawks recorded a fifth win in succession on Saturday afternoon, accounting for the visiting Gold Coast Suns at Box Hill City Oval.

The win moves the brown and gold to seven-and-two on the season and a share of top spot on the VFL ladder; though owing to the staggered nature of the fixture Footscray and Southport, who occupy first and second place on the table, have played seven and eight games respectively.

So, with an opportunity to bank a crucial win ahead of next weekend’s bye, the Hawks welcomed The Suns for a frigid 11am start.

There was little between the sides for much of a tight first term, with early goals to Reeves and Pepper not consolidated until well into time on. Late majors to Brockman and Greene sandwiched the Suns’ only six-pointer of the quarter and confirmed a 20-point lead at the first change.

The teams were greeted by a developing breeze in the second term, with first use going the way of The Suns. Kicking to the scoreboard end, Gold Coast enjoyed periods of good possession and territory, but it was the Hawks who drew first blood.

Ned Reeves’ deft sidestep and dish off was instrumental in a passage of play that led to a Vincent Adduci goal, before Greene judged the tricky breeze to perfection to spear through his second from a set shot.

A struggle ensued for what remained of the first half, with neither side able to master the deteriorating conditions.

The Suns found their third goal of the afternoon early in the third quarter, but as if to underline how difficult it had become to convert, the Hawks could only manage five behinds from a dominant period of possession and field position.

When Jackson Callow steered through a set shot to finally break that run of minor scores, it proved a turning point. The hosts piled on another four goals in time on to take a decisive lead at the final change.

Goals to Phillips, Porter and Greene in the last capped off a fine team performance, while the defensive unit kept the visitors to a solitary goal for the third quarter out of four.

Among the Hawks’ better performers, captain Damian Mascitti continued his strong recent run. The ever reliable and consistent utility recorded 24 disposals on the day, 22 of which were effective, a team-high eight marks and eight inside 50s. As if to underline his presence on the ground, he would also contribute five rebound 50s.

Forward Fergus Greene was without question the most influential player on the ground. In his best performance of the season, the former Bulldog kicked 6.4 from 19 disposals, eight marks and four inside 50s. It was a performance good enough to accumulate 141 Champion Data ranking points, unsurprisingly the most of any player.

In a departure from his usual forward role, Josh Morris was deployed across half back. The youngster looked at home in the back six, winning 22 disposals, taking six marks and spring boarding his side out of half back with eight handball receives.

Ed Phillips’ versatility was on display in arguably his strongest showing of the season. The running machine collected 22 touches – 11 of which were contested – two clearances, an equal team-high six tackles, four inside 50s and a goal.  

Like Phillips, another versatile mid enjoying a strong run of form is Brayden Kilpatrick. The Sydneysider didn’t win his place in the side until round three. Since then the 2018 premiership player has averaged 27.5 disposals and finished in his side’s top two possession winners in each of his six appearances.

Yesterday no man in brown and gold touched the ball more often or took more marks. His three centre bounce clearances were matched only by Keegan Brooksby, while the ruckman’s eight total clearances narrowly eclipsed Kilpatrick’s seven.  

Ned Reeves enjoyed another solid showing, clearly winning his position on the day. The 211cm ruck dominated the stats sheet with 38 hit-outs, 13 disposals, four clearances and a goal.

Michael Hartley was another good contributor, leading a miserly defensive unit with 18 touches, six marks, seven rebound 50s and a goal. The big defender was ably supported in a well-oiled back six by Stu Horner, Cal Porter, and the brothers Beasley, with this group waxing well to allow just 14 scoring shots from 45 inside 50s.

The Hawks will enjoy a bye next weekend, before returning to action in Round 14 against Casey.

Box Hill




15.21  111

Gold Coast




5.9  39

Best: Greene, Mascitti, Morris, Adduci, Hartley, Phillips

Goals: Greene 6, Brockman 2, Callow, Adduci, E Phillips, Porter, Hartley, Pepper, Reeves

Disposals: Mascitti 24, Kilpatrick 24, E Phillips 22, Morris 22, Greene 19, Hartley 18, Cousins 17

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